If you’re looking for summer reading, Graham Library’s graphic novel collection awaits you. Stories presented in comic strip format, but published as books, these (mostly) fictional works entertain with sequential panels of fantastic imagery.
A brilliantly designed single panel replaces pages of text. At times gruesomely realistic, cartoons exaggerate or simplify, they implant an idea, a feeling, a mood. Story lines are built through expert use of black line, white space, shadow and colour fill. Characters are tragic, loving, despicable, delightful, complex or banal. Canada’s Jeff Lemire can rend your heart; America’s Spiegelman can shock and hurt.
Favourite topics of graphic storytellers are political conflict and social injustice. Moral lessons abound in the classic Good vs Evil theme. The unique work of Lynd Ward tells dreadful tales in b&w wood engravings – entirely without words. There’s no shortage of horror and gore. Like life, unlike movies, often the good guy loses.
Try one or a whole series
Graphic novels are low commitment and a quick read. You’ll come back for more anyway, so borrow a whole series. Try Sweet Tooth (quirky), Sin City (creepy crime), Sandman (freaky), or Berlin (gritty). Graham’s got a whole summer’s worth of graphic drama for you.